Chinese President Xi Jinping took a veiled swipe at US leadership in a speech marking Beijing’s 50th anniversary as a member of the United Nations, comments that come as Washington tries to help Taiwan play a greater role in international forums.
“China has always pursued an independent foreign peace policy, upholding justice and firmly opposed hegemonism and power politics,” Xi said in comments that did not stop at mentioning the US.
The Chinese leader vowed that his country would “adhere to the path of peaceful development”, adding that countries should work together to tackle issues such as terrorism, climate change, cybersecurity and biosecurity.
“Only by forming more inclusive global governance, more effective multilateral mechanisms and more active regional cooperation can we tackle them effectively,” Xi said.
Tensions between China and the US have lingered since the outbreak of a trade war during the Trump administration. Beijing has stepped up military pressure on Taiwan this year, and President Joe Biden said last week that the US was determined to defend the democratic government in Taipei against a Chinese attack, Beijing said.
Xi is expected to use an important meeting of the ruling Communist Party in November to bolster his advocacy for a third term in office. A key selling point for Xi is that he is taking a stand against the US over issues of attempts to pinpoint the origin of the coronavirus to Taiwan, which China sees as a breakaway province to be brought under Beijing’s control.
That friction is likely to escalate after high-level diplomats from the US State Department and Taiwan’s State Department met via video Friday to discuss Taipei’s participation in the UN and other international forums.
“The discussion focused on supporting Taiwan’s ability to meaningfully participate in the UN and contribute its valuable expertise to address global challenges, including global public health, the environment and climate change, development aid, technical standards and economic cooperation,” the State Department said in a statement. a statement.
State Department official Rick Waters said last week that China misused UN Resolution 2758 – which in 1971 recognized Beijing as the legitimate representative to the UN rather than Taipei – to dissuade Taiwan from playing a major role in the organization to play, according to the semi-official Central News Agency in Taiwan.
The Chinese embassy in the US responded to the comments, saying in a statement that they were “ignoring the facts” and “very misleading”.
“This is a serious political provocation to China and a malicious disruption of international law and universally recognized standards of international relations,” the statement said, adding that China has formally filed a representation with US diplomats.
Five decades ago, when Mao Zedong led China, the UN voted to give Beijing a seat and oust Taipei, saying the former is China’s “sole legitimate” representative. The People’s Republic of China, now led by Xi, has a permanent seat on the Security Council and plays a major role in UN bodies dealing with issues such as climate change and food security, as they work to exclude Taiwan.
Biden answered “yes” when asked at a CNN town hall on Thursday whether he could pledge to protect Taiwan. “I don’t want a Cold War with China — I just want to make it clear to China that we’re not going to step back, we’re not going to change our minds,” Biden told Baltimore host Anderson Cooper.
A White House spokesman later said Biden has not announced a change in US policy toward Taiwan. The US would continue to abide by its obligations under the Taiwan Relations Act, support Taiwan’s self-defense and oppose unilateral changes to the status quo, the spokesman said.
China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin only mildly reprimanded Biden’s comments and urged the US to speak “with caution” about Taiwan and abide by its agreements. Xi and Biden prepare to hold their first video summit since the US presidential election. Washington aims to hold the meeting later next month, Reuters reports, citing people familiar with the matter.
This story was published from a news agency feed with no text changes. Only the headline has been changed.
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